Oftentimes we don’t know how to help a friend or client dealing with serious, long term illnesses. We ask what we can do, look to actions that make US feel better rather than what best helps them. Here are a few ideas:

– Attend key doctors’ appointments to take notes;
– Drive to/from appointments;
– Run errands;
– Bring food (be sure to ask the person if there are any allergies or preferences). Cook for them, not yourself;
– Walk the dog (or cat);
– Listen;
– Touch them – human touch has amazing healing power.

When someone is struck with a serious illness, they may or may not choose to reveal what’s going on with them. If someone shares with you, thank them for their trust and listen with compassion. Don’t project. And try to understand their situation as best you can. Again, don’t project.

A friend recently shared with me some great advice about sharing. There are people who understand, but don’t care. And there are people who care, but don’t understand. Then there are those who neither care nor understand (avoid), and those who care AND understand. It’s from this last group that you’ll likely get the best support – the love & support you truly want & need.